I know it’s hard. Especially when you’ve been working your ass off for months, or years to get a project up, a film financed, a script done, yet you still have to push through to the finish line. Sometimes it is discouraging when one finish line is just the starting line of the next step. So in actuality, it’s like you aren’t anywhere near hitting the 26th mile (42nd km) in a marathon.
There is no motivation booster that you can just pick up at a local pharmacy. There is no remedy against feeling like your efforts are in vain, unless you see the results of your hard labor. When it becomes tangible it also becomes real and that is the best remedy for all our anxieties, sleepless nights, therapies, prayers or downright doubts. But until you get that far here is some good advice I got today from a dear friend after attending a Pilates class (you are bound to get good ‘don’t stress’ advice after something like Pilates).
She said: be positive.
I said: how?
She said: well, invert how you see certain things, don’t point fingers and only tally up what you’ve accomplished. Besides, it’s nicer than being negative.
That’s exactly what I did when I got home, which is also my office. Ok, so I didn’t come home, I went to work. Hey… I just got the “invert” down. Now… don’t point fingers. I admit it. I do point at Oski, our dog, as a defense argument to myself as to why I’m still frustrated and stuck in Act 2. If he didn’t have to pee and poo, I’m pretty sure I’d be at the end of the Act by now. Of course he doesn’t care if I’m struggling through Act 2 or not. If he’s got to go, he’s got to go. I’ve tried negotiating with him, but he swears he cannot control his bladder for more than 6 hours. Fair enough. Sometimes, in a middle of a discussion, he looks at me and says (granted it is with his eyes): if you’d just give me the keys I’d come and go as I please. I’m sorry Oscar, I can’t have you come and go as you please. I’m not allowed to give you the keys, you are too young. I’ll just have to take you out… and take a break. Not feel like I’m being interrupted but rather that I’m taking a break to figure out where the script is going. Some people take showers, other people take a nap, I take our dog out to pee… hey that actually worked. Thanks Oski for being so patient with me.
And now, last but not least, tally it up. The things you have accomplished. Ok, ok… does cleaning the apartment count?! No (says my inner voice). Hum… in the last 3 weeks I have won a Best Screenplay Award, made a decision regarding the future of Over Lunch, celebrated my birthday and my husband’s in style, started another great film project, working diligently on the current screenplay and even picked up the guitar to start learning how to play (YouTube is amazing for this kind of stuff). Besides grinding through taxes and cleaning the apartment duties I get to share with the my better half… life is all about the little accomplishments, the baby steps, so why not count our blessings?
Being positive isn’t as hard as I thought. I mean it is hard, because I have to personally break an old habit of not always being so positive, but in the end it’s all a matter of how you approach yourself, your work and the world around you. It’s a brain thing. Tell your brain to be positive and it will be. Tell your brain again and again and at some point it’ll be second nature.
So be positive… because if anything, it sure beats the hell out of being negative.